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Cubs vs. Astros at Houston Preview, Friday 3/31, 1:10 CT

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This is it! One last practice game before the real thing begins Sunday.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Well, this is it. After today's game the Cubs will fly to St. Louis, enjoy a Saturday off and the begin the defense of their World Series championship Sunday eveing against the Cardinals.

Man, that sounds good, right? "Defense of their World Series championship." Let's hope we're saying that again a year from now.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Schwarber DH, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Almora CF, Montero C, Jay LF

Astros lineup:

Springer CF, Bregman 3B, Altuve 2B, Correa SS, Reddick DH, Gattis C, Gonzalez 1B, Marisnick RF, Aoki LF

Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers today: Felix Pena, David Rollins and Pierce Johnson. Here's the complete roster of available players for today:

Joe Musgrove gets the call for the Astros. Other Houston pitchers scheduled: Ken Giles, Will Harris, Tony Sipp, Brad Peacock and Michael Feliz.

Today’s game is on CSN Chicago with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. It’s also on cubs.com with Mick Gillispie.

MLB.com Gameday

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation Astros site The Crawfish Boxes. If you do go there to interact with Astros fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

Please note that during spring training, Gameday doesn't usually go pitch-by-pitch as it does during the regular season -- usually, it will update after each at-bat.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 1 p.m. CT and 2:30 p.m. CT.

These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. There will also be a StoryStream on the front page with all the game thread links, as well as the recap after the game is over. The pitcher boxes and regular-season stats will return on Opening Night.

Discuss amongst yourselves.